On Tuesday, the Center for Security Policy (CSP) released a sobering analysis on growing threats to our national security due to the deterioration of America’s nuclear arsenal in light of growing threats from Russia, China, North Korea, and Iran.
The author, Dr. Mark Schneider, a longtime Pentagon official and strategic forces expert, discusses how Russia and China are pressing ahead aggressively with nuclear force modernization, likely made possible with covert and low-yield testing. Schneider describes the huge increase in numbers and sophistication of the Russian and Chinese missile arsenals and compares this with the deterioration of America’s nuclear arsenal. Schneider also explains how the U.S. strategic missile program is falling behind.
Dr. Schneider assesses that “the advanced ages of U.S. deterrent systems at their planned replacement dates create the possibility of the loss of critical capability if there are unexpected problems within systems or delays with existing systems.” Schneider notes that the U.S. no longer has the capability to produce tritium, a vital nuclear weapons ingredient. He explains that the average age of a U.S. nuclear weapon – 35 years – represents a serious threat to the U.S. nuclear arsenal because the estimated life span of the nuclear fuel in these weapons is 45-60 years. Schneider also discusses how modernization plans for U.S. bombers and ICBMs are years behind schedule and face far more advanced Russian and Chinese air defense and missile defense systems.
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Dr. Schneider’s article is especially timely given President Donald Trump’s statement that he wants “modernization and total rehabilitation” of the U.S. arsenal and the Trump administration’s Nuclear Posture Review which is expected to be completed in early 2018. This review is expected to present a strategy to rebuild America’s nuclear deterrent and reverse the damage done to it by the Obama administration’s naïve and neglectful national security policies.
Concerning Schneider’s analysis, Center for Security Policy President, Frank Gaffney said, “Dr. Mark Schneider has produced a vital analysis of a dire threat to our national security that the mainstream media and the foreign policy establishment refuses to discuss: how America’s nuclear weapons, strategic bombers and ICBMs are in urgent need of revitalization just as the nuclear programs of Russia and China are surging and we are facing new nuclear threats from North Korea and Iran. I urge Trump administration officials and Congress to read carefully Dr. Schneider’s detailed analysis as they consider crucial decisions over the next few months on how to rebuild the U.S. nuclear deterrent that is so vital to our national defense.”
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